IMPORTANT! Facebook Ad Updates

A few months ago, we posted about Facebook’s new Anti-Discrimination rules for their advertising. An article was just released that detailed how these changes would affect real estate agents in particular.

We already know that, by federal housing laws, you cannot discriminate against people based on their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and family status. When the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sued Facebook last year, Facebook responded by removing more than 5,000 targeting options.

Recently, they announced a complete overhaul of their ad targeting options that will remove most of the options that allows housing advertisers to discriminate knowingly or accidentally.

Facebook aims to implement changes by the end of the year, creating a separate portal to limit how much advertisers for housing, employment and credit can micro-target their audience. In addition, Facebook will remove the ability to exclude interests, require location targeting to cover a minimum 15-mile geographic radius, and limit the creation of Lookalike Audiences.

New Facebook Targeting Policy Rollout Timeline:

  • July 1, 2019: Product team will start testing the flows with a very small, randomly selected sample of advertisers.
  • Aug. 1, 2019: Open enrollment begins. Advertisers interested in self-selecting can note that they are running HEC ads targeted to people in the US and will be able to use the new experience with limited targeting options.
  • Sept. 1, 2019: Enforcement begins for all advertisers targeting people in the US with HEC ads. In Ads Manager, we’ll begin pausing any campaigns in using targeting that is no longer allowed with these changes.
  • By Dec. 31, 2019: Rollout and enforcement of restricted targeting options for other ads interfaces.

Facebook teams are still discussing exactly what they are going to consider a “housing” ad. They know for sure that specific listings ads will be subject to the new changes, but they are unclear if this will also be applicable to broader “brand” ads.

As we learn more, we will share that information with you here

Hootsuite is pretty sweet…

hootsuite_1106910254They tell you that you should be present on all social media platforms, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to be constantly updating each site. Do you wish there was a way that you could post to all of them at once? Well, you’re in luck!

I would like to introduce you to Hootsuite, an online tool that links all of your social media accounts together, making your life easier. With Hootsuite, you can post one message that will automatically be filtered to all of your social media pages. You can even save yourself a lot of time by scheduling posts to be distributed days, or even weeks, in advance.

Hootsuite takes it a step further and collects analytics on your posts and provides a report on your ROI. This helps you make sure that you are reaching your target audience and can help you determine which social media platform is getting the most results.

They offer three different plans, which allows you to choose what you need for your brand. If you’re not sure about Hootsuite, why not give their 30-day free trial a try? Social media is all about trial and error in order to figure out what works for you and your brand. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work at first because gathering a following takes time.

If you would like to learn more about social media, you can attend the ACCELERATESM classes offered by our very own Homesale Career Development course. There are three elective classes, that anyone can attend, which deal with the topic of social media: Your Online Presence, Facebook Business and Embracing Video. For more information about these classes and a training schedule, visit http://www.homesalecareers.com/Accelerate.

How To Get Your Listings Noticed

Ipad_1153860928.jpgThere are two ways you can up your game when it comes to getting your listings noticed online. First, take optimal photos and visually attract potential buyers. Second, captivate them with entertaining and enthusiastic listing descriptions.

 

Go Au Natural

When possible, take photographs with all-natural light. Turn off the inside lights, tie back the curtains, pull up the shades and take the photos during the sunniest time of the day, around noon to one o’clock. The natural light helps everything look brighter and crisper, creating better, more appealing photos.

 

Get Low

One of the best ways to get wide, all-encompassing shots, is to take photos from a kneeling position. Doing this makes the room look bigger since you are able to capture most of the space between the floor and ceiling lines in the final photo.

 

Tripod

Using a tripod helps you plan, steady and execute your photographs with ease. You can practice your shots and adjust lighting or furniture as necessary in order to take the ideal photo without trying to remember the exact angle and position you were standing in.

 

Video/Drone

Utilizing visually engaging technology is another great way to get your listings noticed. More and more, people are looking to watch video tours of the house, the property and the neighborhood. If the technology is available, take a drone video of the property to help potential buyers assimilate to what life would be like if they lived there.

 

Go Pro

If you feel that you have tried everything you can think of and are taking the best photos possible, but you still aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for, consider hiring a professional photographer. Professionals are trained to understand what makes a good photo and can work their magic on your listing.

 

Talk the Talk

Regular listing captions that simply describe the number of bedrooms and bathrooms within the home aren’t always enough to sell online viewers anymore. Get creative and talk about the interesting and unique elements in the home. Is there an abundance of natural lighting? Tell them! Does the house boast art-deco architecture? That’ll definitely appeal to people. A home is more than just square footage and potential buyers want to know that their future house is one of a kind, just like them.

New Facebook Anti-Discrimination Rules

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A few months ago, Facebook was hit with a lawsuit by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that claimed Facebook was engaging in housing discrimination. According to the suit, HUD accused Facebook of allowing landlords, home sellers and agents to set parameters on ads that limited which prospective buyers could view it based on race, religion, sex and disability, to name a few.

Some of these allowances included blocking ads to users based on their interests in certain topics such as “child care” or “mobility scooters.” Others gave the advertiser the ability to block ads by specific zip code.

In response to this accusation, Facebook has changed their rules for ads related to real estate. Now, advertisers can no longer set these kinds of parameters and discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition.

 

What does this mean for you?

As a Homesale Realty agent, these new rules just mean that the more general your audience, the better. When setting the target audience for your ads, choose both men and women and select as wide of a geographical range as possible. Counties tend to work very well for the geographical parameter.

If, for some reason, Facebook thinks you have set a parameter that violates these new rules, they will flag your ad and send you a notification that it has been denied. From here, you can adjust the parameters and resubmit or send the ad for a manual review if you believe it has been flagged in error.

 

For more information about these new rules, check out Facebook’s advertising policies here.

 

Protect Yourself Against Wire Transfer Scams

The real estate industry is a huge target for wire transfer scams. It’s up to you to protect yourself and your clients, but how? What are wire transfer scams? How do you know if you are a victim? What should you do if it happens to you? Read below to find out more…

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A Little Info About These Scams

These scams normally come from groups operating out of Ghana, Nigeria and other African nations. Individuals in these groups try to connect with potential victims through email and even on social dating sites in order to foster a relationship. The groups, as a whole, send out millions of emails constantly, waiting for someone to click on it. They are smart, creating believable stories about why they need bank account information and convincing the victim in the relationship that by divulging this information and partaking in this deal, they will be helping them out greatly.

 

How to Recognize One

Some scam attempts are obvious, but others can be unsuspecting. If you have an online friend who has started nonchalantly asking personal questions about your financial status, it might be a scam. If you received an email from an address you don’t recognize, it might be a scam, but if you’re not sure, read the content of the emails. Many scam emails will have funky wording, some phrases won’t make sense or words will be misspelled.

Other scam emails can contain content about you needing to make a payment for a medical account or they want you to review your recent payment. If you haven’t made any payments recently or the email address isn’t the same as your health account portal, delete it and don’t click on any prompted links. Lastly, never download any file from an unknown address.

 

How to Protect Yourself Against Them

  • Block IP addresses from nations listed above
  • Avoid using web-based email accounts (they are easier to hack)
  • Be careful what you put on social media (job functions, salary, hierarchical information, etc.)
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know
  • Don’t disclose personal information to people you don’t know
  • Be wary of any requests for secrecy or pressure to act quickly

 

What to Do If You Suspect Something

  • Immediately call your bank and talk to the person who has authority to recall a wire transfer
  • Tell your bank that you want them to fully cooperate with the police
    • You have to state this as the bank cannot help the FBI without your consent
  • Report the incident to the FBI at ic3.gov
    • Provide as many details as you can about the beneficiary; account number, contact information, names, etc.
  • Contact the closest FBI field office
    • For an international wire transfer, they can try to create a Financial Kill Chain

 

 

Reference: https://www.wavgroup.com/2018/10/08/how-the-fbi-foiled-a-wire-transfer-scam/

There’s An App For That

With appointments, meetings, phone calls and personal life, how are you possibly supposed to keep track of it all? Well there may not be one singular app to organize every aspect of your life, but here are a few that can work in harmony to make sure things don’t start falling through the cracks.

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Evernote

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This comprehensive note-taking app allows you to attach articles, documents, audio or video files to notes that you took during a meeting or phone call. You can choose from the basic, premium or business version to fit your exact needs. With this app you can create notes, checklists or even put a notebook together for multiple notes, making sure everything you need is in one place.

 

 

Google Calendar

If you don’t have a Google account, it might be worth creating one just to reap the benefits of the Google calendar. The calendar can be shared with whomever you choose so everyone who has access can see the schedule for the rest of the group. This can help with avoiding scheduling conflicts and setting up meeting times. You can alter the reminder notification for each event to hours, days or even weeks before the event based on your preference.

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IFTTT

With your busy schedule, there might be tasks that you postpone frequently or even forget about. With IFTT, derived from the phrase “If this, then that…,” you can set rules for your media to do things for you. See the example graphic below. You can set a rule to get the weather report every morning at 7 a.m. so you can decide what to wear or you can have Twitter send out every Instagram post as an organic tweet to make social media engagement a breeze. There are thousands of programs you can incorporate in this app to make your life more hands off and less time consuming.

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